Served: 2 years
March 16, 1926 to May 16, 1927
Olin joined the Cincinnati Police Department as a Substitute Patrolman on March 16, 1926. On June 2, 1926, he was promoted to the grade of “regular” by City Manager C. O. Sherrill.
On May 15, 1927, Mary Easley approached off duty District Four Patrolman Wilson at his residence at 761 Kenyon Avenue and informed him that a man had just fired two shots into the windows of her residence at 621 Cutter Street. While relating this story, Ms. Easley saw the suspect and pointed to him. Patrolman Wilson called to the suspect saying, “Come here, buddy. I want to see you.” The suspect, eighteen-year-old John Coverson of 978 West Seventh Street, without a word, drew his revolver and shot Patrolman Wilson three times in the right side, right arm, and left leg.
Frank Murray of 1219 Richmond Street led a crowd of citizens who ran Coverson down and were beating him until stopped by Inspector Eugene Weatherly, Night Chief, Chief of Detectives Joseph Arain, and Lieutenant John Seebohm. They then arrested Coversion and an apparent accomplice, nineteen-year-old Enis Greer, of 643 Clinton Street.
Patrolman Wilson was taken to General Hospital. He died the next morning, May 16, 1927.
He was survived by his wife, Geneva Wilson (35); son, Olin, Jr. (14); and other family members (see below). Patrolman Wilson was buried in Union Baptist Cemetery in Covedale on May 19, 1927.
The murder was investigated by Sergeant George Dooley (later also killed in the line of duty) and Detective Albert Schwach. John Coverson was charged, convicted, and executed eight months later on January 9, 1928. He was the fourth person executed for murder of a Cincinnati policeman.
Patrolman Wilson was survived by his brother, Patrolman Robert A. Wilson Sr., with whom he worked in District Four. He also left two nephews, Melvin C. Wilson and William Wilson, and a niece, Lillian Wilson-Grigsby. Robert retired in 1947. Melvin became a Jailer for Cincinnati and later worked for the Water Works. William became a Cincinnati Police Patrolman and served 42 years from 1945 to 1987. Lillian became the first black female law enforcement officer hired by Cincinnati in 1947. She served until 1965 and then worked at Hamilton County Felony Probation Office until 1982 and died during 2008. Patrolman Olin Wilson’s great nephew, Robert G. Wilson III, served on the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department from 1971 to 1989. His great grandniece joined the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office as a Corrections Officer in 1989 and still serves.
If you know of information, archives, artifacts, or images regarding this officer or incident, please contact the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum at Memorial@Police-Museum.org.
© This narrative was researched and revised on July 19, 2012 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society President. All rights are reserved to him and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum.